Friday, June 28, 2013

Calling Me Home

Calling Me Home
by Julie Kibler

Genre: Historical Fiction/Women's Fiction

Synopsis: 89 year old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser, Dorrie Curtis.  It's a big one.  Isabelle wants Dorrie to drop everything and driver her from her home in Texas to a funeral near Cincinnati.  With no clear explanation why.  Tomorrow.

Dorrie, a black single mother fleeing problems of her own, wonders if she can unlock the mysteries of Isabelle's guarded past.  She hardly hesitates before agreeing to Isabelle's request, never imagining it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

As they drive, Isabelle confesses her longest-kept secret.  As a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper-in a town where blacks weren't allowed after dark.  The tale of this forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear that Dorrie and Isabelle are heading for a gathering of the utmost importance, and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.
From the book jacket

Review:  This is a beautiful story of friendship between Miss Isabelle, an 89 year old white woman, and Dorrie, her hairdresser who is a single mother and a black woman.  The bond between these women became more like mother/daughter than client/hairdresser.  During the car trip to the funeral, the chapters switch off from present day Dorrie and the struggles that she is going through with her son and her new man, and Miss Isabelle's life in the late 1930s/early 1940s.  This is not only a story of friendship but of a beautiful love relationship between Isabelle and Robert.  The love story is quite heart wrenching.  You really get to know the 2 women very well in the story and it's almost like you are taking a ride with them on their road trip.  The author does a fantastic job with writing the story but also with developing the characters and making the characters extremely likable.  I really enjoyed the character of Isabelle and how she spoke her mind, especially at 89 years old!  The story also deals with racial inequality both in the 1930s and the present day.  I could not put this book down and I was quite satisfied by how the story end.  I would definitely encourage you to pick up this book!

Rating: 5 stars

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